Fulfilling the requirements for the Biological Sciences Scholars program has been genuinely enriching academically and professionally, as well as personally and socially. Some of the events I participated in during my fall semester included a Bingo night at Wesley Glen Retirement Community, and a dog adoption event through Canine Collective.
During the dog adoption event, I bonded with an older dog named Ireland (above). She was less energetic and social than the other dogs, and was slightly disobedient, but overall lovable and sweet. The Canine Collective staff shared that they had been bringing Ireland to every adoption event in the hopes of finding her a home as soon as possible, not only because she is a senior dog, but because her best friend in the shelter had recently passed away. Getting to spend time with these dogs, giving them attention, and seeing one of the six dogs get adopted that day helped me remember that not only can dogs make us, as humans, happy; we can so easily bring joy to a rescued dog, and one dog in a kill shelter can become another person’s beloved pet in the span of only a few days. We only need to take the small amount of time and effort.
Even before I had any sense of direction as to an academic or career interest, I knew I wanted to help people; I just did not know how. Joining the youth corps of my town’s volunteer ambulance corps in my junior year of high school was one of the most gratifying decisions I have ever made. Not only did I get to come to the aid of members in my community during emergencies, distracting them from some of the worst days of their lives, but I also learned a lot about myself and how to interact with other people. My second year in the corps, I was elected captain by my peers. My main responsibilities were to plan meetings, fundraisers, and training sessions, as well as enforcing policies about minimum commitment and member participation. I had to collaborate with my fellow executive board members, and figure out the location of the invisible line separating what was fair or too much to ask of members.
Toward the end of my time with the corps, it became less fun and interesting, and more difficult. Telling my friends and classmates that they were not fulfilling the requirements for membership, and having to remove a few of these members from the corps roster, did not exactly help me gain popularity. Fielding phone calls and reading applications for new members took more of my time than spending time out on the ambulance, in the community helping people. Even when I did get the chance here and there to get back on the ambulance and do what I enjoyed, it started taking a toll. Overdose calls, severe car accidents, and terminally ill patients hanging on by a thread were all emotionally draining, and I began to feel that no one appreciated when I did everything I could to help them. I spent about ten hours a week dedicating my time, attention, energy, and heart to the corps and community, and began to wonder if helping people was always so taxing.
As I pondered whether my work was worth the trouble, my advisor informed me that the senior corps, a mix of professional and volunteer paramedics and EMTs, had selected me as the Youth Corps of the year. The group recognized my dedication and hard work, as well as my genuine desire to serve my community.
The recognition I received from my corps was, of course, an honor. I received life saving commendation bars (pins for EMT dress uniform). More importantly, though, I realized that the appreciation I had been craving did not matter. I knew that I was helping people, literally supporting lives, and showing every patient I worked with that someone valued their life and health. As long as I knew that I was trying my best, putting forth my strongest effort to take care of people, it did not matter whether or not I was popular among my peers, or whether patients ever said “thank you.” My ambulance experience did teach me life saving skills and emergency medicine, but it also reaffirmed my desire to help people, encouraging my to remain on my current path.
I am Brooke Schatz, a Biological Sciences Scholar at The Ohio State University. I am currently studying neuroscience as my undergraduate major, and hope to one day earn a PhD in the subject and begin a career in research. Neuroscience is a field that I have a very personal connection to, as well as academic fascination. My determination and dedication to improvement, achieving my goals, and helping others has helped me become more flexible and develop leadership skills.
Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
Original Inquiry: The main reason I became interested in neuroscience is the fact that the brain is so crucial to our survival and quality of life, and controls everything we do, yet we know so little about it. I would love to make a difference in just one of so many issues within the field of neuroscience, and hope to further explore topics ranging from addiction, to mental health, to speech and hearing. I aim to get involved in a lab as soon as possible.
Academic Enrichment: I hope to get involved in Biological Sciences Scholars events beyond social and service, aiming to gain more real-world experience. I am also going to get involved in the many community outreach events the Neuroscience Undergraduate Major offers, as well as pushing myself through a wide range of networking efforts.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: I hope in my time on the Ohio State University campus and in the city of Columbus, I can balance my service interests both professionally and personally. I am a passionate advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and equality, mental health awareness and services, and opioid education, and I love animals. I also want to dedicate time to research, clinical hours, and assisting my peers in their studies and passions. Hopefully, splitting my time between these two different veins of interest and academics will allow me to grow, or find something more specific to invest myself in.